Higher proportion of people working on casual basis

September 17 2002 - A fifth of all employed people consider themselves to be employed on a casual basis, according to recent results from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The current rate of 20% represents an increase of three percentage points since the last Forms of Employment Survey conducted in 1998.

Employees with paid leave entitlements still make up the predominant group (58%) of workers recorded in November 2001 - little different from the 59% recorded in 1998. A further 19% of employed people had their own business in November 2001. The remaining 3% consisted of employees who were not receiving paid leave entitlements but did not identify themselves as casual.

The report shows that gender differences are significant with women making up the majority (59%) of self-identified casuals in November 2001, while over two-thirds (69%) of people working in their own business were men. There were also age differences. 42% of self-identified casuals were aged between 15 and 24 while 60% of people working in their own business were aged between 35 and 54 years.

People work longer for their own businesses. Most employees with paid leave entitlements (70%) worked at least 35 hours in their main job during the reference week - with 17% working 49 hours or more. This compared with 68% of people employed in their own business working at least 35 hours and 40% working 49 hours or more. In contrast the majority (76%) of self-identified casuals worked less than 35 hours in their main job.

At November 2001, 288,100 employees (4%) worked on a fixed-term contract, and 451,900 persons employed in their own business (26%) undertook contract work. Overall, 8% of employed persons were working under some form of contract arrangement.

Further details are in Forms of Employment, Australia, November 2001 (cat. no. 6359.0).